Monday, July 24, 2000
@ home 0811 hrs
Flail me – I desire to be flailed –
Jail me, impale me.
Brain me – what’s the use of a brain?
Maim me, chain me…
Why do you hurt me?
You asked for it!
I spent all weekend up in Dallas. I expected to find at least one missed phone call or voice message on my cell phone when I returned to my service area just below Fort Worth. Alas, no one loves me. There’s something deeper here I should probably delve into, but I don’t think I will right this instant.
When we got home there were a couple of messages on the machine–neither for me. The one I remember was my aunt calling to remind my dad to call his mom. Today is the day my other aunt killed herself. (Gun. Bathtub. Less mess.) My grandmother gets really depressed around this time of year. One might think the sadness (and probably more than a little unearned guilt) would have lessened over the years… Maybe it has, but I’d hate to have seen what it looked like in the beginning.
My cousin, the daughter of the aunt who called to remind us, was born yesterday in the same year as my aunt’s suicide. Happiness! Congratulations! on the 23rd and the next day, the 24th, Condolences… Sadness. I remember back when we were younger my cousin thought there was something special about her birthday being situated the day before the suicide. I’m sure more than once I said or thought, “Yeah, she killed herself because you were born!” I’m an asshole, so sue me. It is a study in contrasts, though.
Later, in the middle of watching Scream 3 with the family, the phone rang. My dad answered and handed the phone to me. In response to my hello a high-pitched girl’s voice said, “Hi!” I instantly began searching my mind for a name, a reason, a meeting place, whatever.
“Do you remember me?”
“Uhhhh–,” still racking my brain for even a sliver.
“Oh, hi!” Oh, fuck. “How’s the Navy?”
“Great. How’re things on your side?” She didn’t sound full of animosity or anything. ‘Course, why should she? She got all her stuff back (I got nothing) and I paid for the whole divorce ($600) even though it had been her idea.
“Good, good.” Fuck, fuck. People should call before they call.
“What’re you doing now?”
“Real estate.” Kinda.
“Going to college?”
“Yeah, yeah.” For a little while longer anyway.
Dead air. In the background I heard people through the phone. She was probably in a dayroom in her dorms.
I broke the silence with, “Well, hate to run anyone’s phone bill up,” not-so-subtly referring to the huge phone bills I ran up calling her while I was in the Air Force.
“Yeah,” I wonder if she wanted to say more. Probably not.
We traded a few more words–I found out she’s stationed in Pensacola, Florida, and going to become a cryptography technician (tons of need for that in the civilian world)–before we hung up. The whole conversation probably lasted less than two minutes.
Even in its conciseness, the conversation made me feel bad. Probably because she likes the Navy so much when I hated the Air Force so. Of course, we both went in under completely different circumstances, and if she really wanted to go in than she should’ve enlisted instead of me back before we got married. Not that any of that matters now anyway.
They say, “Hold on to your dreams”
That plays good on TV, but never worked for me.
So now I need to find a way to occupy my time
Until the day I die because I give up
—Quasi, “I Give Up”
I need to leave soon and head down to the Austin International Youth Hostel where I plan to do some volunteer work. Matter of fact, I need to groom and get dressed and go right now.